Leak found on gas line supplying Royal Oak home that exploded

Leak found on gas line supplying Royal Oak home that exploded

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Scattered debris are all that remain after a house exploded Wednesday on Cooper Avenue in Royal Oak.  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Scattered debris are all that remain after a house exploded Wednesday on Cooper Avenue in Royal Oak. (Credit: Fox 2 News)
ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WJBK) -

We now know what likely caused a blast on Cooper Avenue in Royal Oak that flattened a home, damaged several others and left a 58-year-old man dead.

"Our testing today showed that a gas service line that ran to the house that actually exploded did have a leak on it and probably was damaged when the new gas line was being installed along the street.  So this probably was the cause of the explosion," said Deborah Dodd with Consumers Energy.

"Obviously, we are thinking about that family today, and our hearts and prayers go out to the victims' family.  We're in the process of continuing our investigation, and we're also testing other gas services in the vicinity," she added.  "We're going to make sure everything is safe before the residents of the homes that are evacuated are allowed back in."

Resident Meghan Pohl spent Wednesday night at a hotel.

"We found our cats, so we were able to get them back with us, but now it's just a waiting game," she said.

Pohl is waiting to get back into her house.  She lives across the street from where the blast leveled a house and nearly destroyed dozens of others.  24 hours later, she came to assess the damage, but it's still unclear when it will be safe enough to return to her home.

We have also learning more about the man who died in that explosion.  Dan Malczynski was a father, a union man and a good friend.

"Total surprise.  Such a freak accident to happen to somebody that you know," said Pat Sweeney, president of UAW Local 5960.

He worked with Malczynski at General Motor's assembly plant in Lake Orion before he retired.  Sweeney said they had just made plans to get together.

"Devastating.  Hell of a guy.  Hell of a union representative.  He represented his people very well.  He was involved in a lot of the community stuff.  He'd build wheelchair ramps with one of our other reps... for disabled veterans," Sweeney said.

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